Ness Heads • "Pretty"

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Produced by Vince Nantes & Drew Damen

Whether you make music or not, it’s safe to say that our musical taste develops through certain influences in our lives. For Vanessa Ortiz, aka Ness Heads, her musical influences root from where she grew up and who she grew up with. I have 2 older brothers, so they kind of inspired a lot of the music that I listened to. Then when I moved to [elmwood park] That’s when I got more of my alternative background, which I use more when I write my melodies”. Committing to her craft full time since January of this year, Ness has continued to develop as an artist. Focusing on her melodic-based rapping style, Ness takes another progressive leap towards her vision of success with her new single “Pretty”.

Her passion is lucid. The way Ness speaks on her craft comes off with a certain confidence that is parallel to her determined attitude. She’s got a plan, and she knows what direction she wants to go. “Pretty” is Ness’s third single of 2018. Acknowledging that the track is slightly different than her other singles (having a harder sound compared to “On My Own” and “Flip ‘Em”), her melodic style is just as present (specifically) as she sings the chorus “Bitch I look Pretty, bitch I look pretty, bitch I look pretty, yeah.”

Photo by Rena Naltsas

For Ness, it all comes down to staying focused. Balancing her previous 9-5 and her creative passions was not in the cards. Now that she’s fully invested, she’s been able to collaborate with more creatives. Collaborating with new producers and rappers - she’s constantly staying on her hustle. (Ness was even kind enough to share rough versions of unreleased songs with me - and I can confidently attest that her hard work is paying off.)

She shares her vision for 2019 - I won’t spoil it all, but I will say we can expect to hear more music from the determined rapper in these upcoming months. To learn more about Ness, our conversation, and her new song “Pretty”, check out our exclusive Q&A below!

What gets you in your element/zone to make your music?

Everyday, I try to (at least for 30 minutes) listen to an artist like Lauryn hill, Twista even… I’ll listen and try to study their music. Then, I’ll do writing exercises. I do that for an hour. I’ll take a song and rewrite the lyrics, or take a beat and mindlessly write for ten minutes. I’ve been working with a few different producers, so I’ll take the different beats that I have and that I’ve been focusing on and try to sit there and just write, and make something come out of it.

With that process, how did “Pretty” come about?

I listened to [the] “Pretty” [beat] and I wasn’t too crazy about it… I was in a weird mood where I just got in a fight with someone that I knew was talking shit, and I was like, ‘fuck it’. I’m gonna write this song about that, and get me in my element and be like ‘Fuck you, i don't care’.

There was one line I noted: “If you push me I get verbal you just stutter stutter stop.” You come across confident, and resilient on this track. How do you want listeners to interpret “Pretty”?

I want people to feel empowered. I want people not really caring what other people think, I want them to feel refreshed while they are listening to it - kind of get them in their own element.”

I’m sure you’ve noticed being around Chicago, that more Latin artists are emerging in the creative scene. Does it mean a lot to you to see other artists like yourself with similar backgrounds being involved in the music community?

If anything it’s motivating… to see that they’re so successful in the music industry and see that they’re making hits, [and that] people are fucking loving them. It’s like, why can’t I do the same thing? So if anything it’s inspiring, and it makes me happy.

As we close up on 2018, do you have anymore goals and have you met your goals for the year?

I would say yeah, in terms of trying to find management, trying to play shows, and just getting better at music. I think those are my three top [goals]. I feel like we’ve been doing a really good job with them. Now we’re trying to prepare for spring, to drop an actual project… that’s kind of what we’re gonna be focusing on at the end of the year.”